Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Government just another disaster

(My Clovis News Journal column for January 8, 2016)

Maybe it’s a personal fault, but I like blizzards. I enjoy anything interesting and challenging.

The way to keep “interesting and challenging” from becoming a disaster is by planning ahead.

 I try to be as ready as possible for emergencies or problems. I have kerosene lamps in case of a blackout. I also have a fireplace, and fun and games that don’t require electricity — not even batteries.

I have emergency food and water. Most importantly, I have enthusiasm for any chance to test it all.

I am a little disappointed I almost never have a blackout. It's a testament to the power (pun intended) of the companies who actually have to keep customers relatively happy. They are motivated to do a great job. Guys with guns won't show up to kidnap you if you disconnect from the electric pole- unlike the government monopolies you are forced to use, and pay for even if you find a better option.

Besides the opportunity to use my provisions, I also enjoy seeing what I missed and need to improve. It's a learning experience and I love learning.

Sometimes those around me don't enjoy adventures as much as I do. This provides another test.

I try to enjoy other challenges too, but it can be harder. To me an impersonal blizzard is more fun to deal with than similarly destructive groups of people who only exist to make life more difficult and dangerous- in practice if not by intention. Government employees do this when they impose themselves into a difficult situation and manage to make it worse; getting in the way of those who don't need their "help". Blizzards don't show up, then demand your thanks and strut around as if you couldn't live without them.

For that matter, neither do hurricanes, earthquakes, and plagues- all of which are less destructive in the long run than government.

But, you can prepare for the inevitability of natural events, and you can do the same for the malevolent winds of government. It won't always be around. Eventually our descendants will shake their heads in amazement that we tolerated it, but for now look upon it as you would any other bothersome reality you need to learn to navigate around.

Maybe you can even turn it into a game so your children will be better at surviving it than you are. It works with blizzards and blackouts; it can work for other disasters, too.


Rule by Defectives

(Previously posted to Patreon)

This obsession with trying to structure the world around defective people is annoying, and probably a really bad idea. Both for the individuals being coddled, and for society as a whole. Maybe even for civilization.

It's nice to do helpful things for the defective, when you can. And to encourage them to do things for themselves. What isn't nice is damaging everyone else by the effort to accommodate them. A "lowest common denominator" society is a dying society. Or, as L. Neil Smith has written, "Euro-American welfare statism's preoccupation with 'the halt and the lame' isn't an iota healthier than the obsession of ancient Egypt's priest-kings with death."

Seems like no matter what you want to do these days, there is some group of victims out there saying you can't, or you'll be hurting them.

Maybe I'm just not nice, but I just don't have much sympathy for those who think their defects entitle them to whittle away at everyone else's freedom.

Everyone is defective; not everyone is "a defective".

I'm defective. My eyesight is horrible. I'm emotionally scarred by my daughter's recent death. I'm tall enough that I constantly hit my head on things built for short people- and sometimes it really hurts (and is why I usually wear a hat, even indoors). I am unsuited for the modern world in ways I can't articulate. But I don't demand everyone make the world safe for my defects, at the expense of everyone else. It is my responsibility to accommodate myself and my needs. I know what my defects are, and I can learn- I will learn- to navigate around them.

But the defective victim whiners don't want that responsibility.

If I am allergic (one of the most over-used justifications today) to tobacco smoke or peanuts, I understand that my allergy- my defect- will limit my freedom to go where I want. It doesn't give me the right, created out of thin air, to tell you where you are allowed to smoke or eat peanuts. That's between you and the property owner.

If I go into a business and bump my head on all their doorways or hanging signage, it is my responsibility to either duck or go elsewhere.

If I can't read a sign because of my eyesight, it doesn't create a responsibility in others to make bigger signs or to give me better glasses- even if not being able to read the sign could kill me.

If I am distraught due to my daughter's death, it doesn't create a right for me to punch people who joke about death.

Yes, taking responsibility for myself will make my life more difficult. Learning to deal with it will hone my senses and cognitive abilities. Coddling me to remove every bump from my path will only make me more defective than I was before.

That the consequences in the case of allergies could be more serious than me bumping my head doesn't shift responsibility to someone else.

I am much, MUCH more likely to try to accommodate those who don't make demands or throw "laws" at me. Once you make demands I will view you as a jerk, and I will probably enjoy seeing your discomfort. Perhaps that's another of my defects.


A healthy relationship with government?

There is no such thing as a healthy relationship with government.

If you ignore it, you are ignoring the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

If you hate it, you'll probably obsess over hating it.

If you love it, you are loving a disease; a defect.

If you trust it, it's like a "friend" who keeps stabbing you in the back.

If you use it as a tool against other people you are a bully.

If it uses you or violates you, you will be hurt and may feel like a victim.

If you work for it, I just don't know what to say. Well, yeah I do.